Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Welcome to our big bench grinder test 2021. Here we present all the bench grinders we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best bench grinder for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a bench grinder.




Summary

  • A bench grinder is a versatile machine for grinding different tools
  • Grinding jigs are offered by manufacturers in many different designs and combinations for professional use and the hobby workshop. However, only 3 versions are really useful for DIY enthusiasts and professionals.
  • A good bench grinder does not necessarily have to cost a lot, but they are an important and indispensable part of the basic equipment in every workshop.

The best Bench Grinder: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a bench grinder

What is a bench grinder?

A bench grinder is the simplest version of a stationary grinder. The machine consists of a motor with sanding discs mounted on the right and left ends of the shaft. The sanding discs are fitted with a cover to protect the operator, leaving only a small area of the sanding disc exposed.

A bench grinder can easily sharpen a wide range of tools. (Image source: pexels.com / Lusi Quintero)

The motor of the bench grinder is built into a sturdy housing that is firmly attached to the base of the machine. When the machine is switched on, both wheels rotate at the same speed in the same direction.

Usually, a bench grinder is equipped with two different grinding wheels with different grits for coarse and fine grinding.

What can a bench grinder be used for?

Grinding jigs were originally developed for grinding tools and are mainly used for grinding and sharpening:

  • Twist drills
  • Milling cutters
  • Turning chisels
  • Knives
  • Chisels
  • Hand and machine chisels
  • Chisels

Depending on the design, they can additionally be used for derusting or polishing metal parts.

Can I build a bench grinder myself?

It is not advisable to build a bench grinder yourself. Although it is possible to attach a grinding wheel to a suitable motor shaft, it is more important to have a protective cover and an adjustable tool rest.

However, the effort required to make these indispensable parts is not worthwhile in view of the low prices for good sanding jigs.

However, you can tweak existing and usually quite inexpensive bench grinders a bit to get a little more overall performance.

Can I rent or borrow a bench grinder?

You can hardly rent a bench grinder. Tool hire companies rarely have these machines in their range.

It doesn't make sense for the rental company to charge 10 euros a day to rent a bench grinder when you can buy a new one for 30 euros at the hardware store around the corner.

Is it worth buying a used bench grinder?

With the low prices for new DIY bench grinders, it makes little sense to buy a used one. The situation is somewhat different with the large professional machines, which cost several hundred euros new.

Occasionally you can also get a bargain at an auction when a company is closed down.

What accessories are available for a bench grinder?

Various accessories are available for bench grinders. Various manufacturers offer jigs for grinding drills, gouges or milling cutters. The jigs are mounted on the bench grinder and serve to guide the tools correctly during grinding.

An indispensable accessory for every bench grinder is a dresser.

With a dresser, the grinding wheel is smoothed out while it is running and grooves are removed so that a straight grinding surface is created again.

What should I bear in mind when working with a bench grinder?

The bench grinder must always be securely fastened to a workbench, a wall support or a suitable stand. The maximum speed printed on the grinding wheels must be the same as or higher than the motor speed of the bench grinder.

Grinding wheels that have fallen off during replacement, for example, should no longer be used and should be replaced with new ones.

If the disc is cracked, it is very likely that it will fly apart during the next sharpening and can seriously injure you.

You can recognise a crack by a muffled sound when you tap the disc lightly with a hard object. An intact disc sounds bright and clear.

You should make sure that the distance between the tool rest and the grinding wheel is not more than 2 to 3 mm. The small distance is important so that the tool cannot get caught between the disc and the support if it slips off.

For your own safety, you should always wear protective goggles when working with a bench grinder.

You should not use a grinding wheel if it is:

  • is heavily notched around the circumference
  • a dull sound indicates a crack
  • a crack is visible
  • the maximum permissible speed is lower than the speed of the machine

What is an alternative to a bench grinder?

There is practically no alternative to a bench grinder. You can only buy special grinding machines for grinding twist drills. But then you can only use them for grinding drills.

What is the difference between a bench grinder and a polishing bench?

The shafts of a polishing stand for attaching the polishing wheels are much longer than the shafts of a bench grinder. The polishing wheels have a much greater distance to the machine's motor. This gives more space for polishing larger parts.

Another difference is that a polishing stand has no cover over the polishing wheels and there is no tool rest. A polishing stand should therefore never be converted to a grinding stand and used for tool grinding.

Decision: What types of bench grinders are there and which one is right for you?

Basically, a distinction is made between three different types / kinds of bench grinders:

  • Double grinder
  • Bench grinder with belt grinder
  • Wet grinders

What is a bench grinder and what are the advantages and disadvantages of bench grinders?

A so-called double grinder is the basic form of a bench grinder. A double grinder is equipped with two different grinding wheels made of a ceramic material, which can be used to grind tools large and fine.

Advantages
  • for grinding tools
  • two grinding wheels of different grit
  • compact design
  • low price
Disadvantages
  • must be converted for other work
  • inexpensive machines not suitable for continuous operation

Double grinders are primarily used for grinding tools and knives. Converting to polishing wheels is only an emergency solution. Other machines, such as a so-called polishing stand, are better suited for this work.

What is a bench grinder with belt grinder and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

A bench grinder with belt sander is a practical combination of a bench grinder with a grinding wheel on one side and a belt sander on the other side.

Depending on which sanding belt the belt sander is equipped with, it can be used for sanding metal, wood or plastic.

Advantages
  • sanding different materials with one machine
  • sanding belt suitable for wider workpieces
  • cheaper than two individual machines
  • space-saving
Disadvantages
  • only one sanding disc
  • may require frequent changing of sanding disc

A combined bench grinder and belt grinder can be used for grinding tools and for processing wide workpieces with the belt grinder.

However, the disadvantage when grinding tools is that the grinding wheel has to be changed when large and fine grinding are required in succession.

What is a wet grinder and what are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of machine?

In a wet grinder, a wide grinding wheel of slightly less than half the diameter rotates in a container of water.

The speed of the grinding wheel is relatively low so that the water is not thrown out of the container. The water cools the grinding wheel and the workpiece during grinding.

Advantages
  • Cooling of the tool during grinding
  • fine grinding surfaces
  • low burr formation
Disadvantages
  • Limited application possibilities
  • relatively high purchase price

Wet grinding machines are perfect for sharpening knives and gouges. The cooling water prevents the thin cutting edges from overheating.

The cutting edges do not anneal and do not become soft. Tools and knives sharpened with a wet grinder stay sharp for a long time.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate bench grinders

In the following, we would like to show you which criteria you can use to compare and evaluate bench grinders. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular bench grinder is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are the following factors:

  • Motor power
  • Operating voltage
  • Grinding wheel diameter
  • Accessories

In the next paragraphs, we will explain the respective purchase criteria in detail and show you how you can classify these criteria.

Motor power

The higher the motor power of a bench grinder, the more pressure you can exert and the faster you can grind certain tools and workpieces without the speed of the machine dropping to its knees. The motor should not be less than 200 watts.

Operating voltage

If you want to buy a high-power bench grinder, you should look at whether the machine can be operated with 240 or 400 volts. You may need a 400 volt power supply.

A bench grinder with a 400 volt motor is standard for professionals and much more robust than a machine for 240 volt household current with the same motor power.

Grinding wheel diameter

the larger the diameter of the grinding wheels, the flatter the so-called gouge, which occurs, for example, when grinding gouges. As the diameter increases, the grinding wheels also become wider, so that the usable grinding width increases.

The grinding wheel diameter should be at least 150 mm.

However, larger diameters are better.

The grinding wheel is the heart of your bench grinder. (Image source: pexels.com / Luis Quintero)

Accessories

In principle, you don't need any special accessories for a bench grinder. You can simply use the machine. But if you want to use devices for grinding drills and other tools, you have to make sure that the accessories fit the machine.

Trivia: Interesting facts about the bench grinder

Which grinding wheels are used for which material?

There is a simple rule of thumb when sanding metal: Soft materials such as aluminium or copper are processed with hard grinding wheels. Hard materials such as steel are processed with soft grinding wheels.

If you use soft grinding wheels for soft materials, the grinding wheel will quickly become clogged. The material quickly becomes hot during grinding and the material removal rate approaches zero.

Soft grinding wheels are used for hard materials because worn and blunt grains can break out of the surface and the grinding wheel stays sharp longer.

The grit of a grinding wheel only tells you how fine or coarse you can grind with it, not what material the wheel is suitable for. Information on which material a grinding wheel is suitable for is usually printed on the wheel by the manufacturer.

What are the advantages of wet sanding?

Wet grinding with water or rarely oil has two advantages over dry grinding. The water prevents the workpiece from getting too hot. This is especially important when tools are being ground.

The second advantage is that the water rinses the ground material out of the grinding wheel and prevents it from settling as quickly as with dry grinding.

This prevents scoring on the sanded surface and improves the quality of the surface.

What is the difference between sanding blocks for 240 and 400 volts?

Sanding blocks with a 400 volt motor are usually much more powerful than the 240 volt models. The motors are also often designed for continuous operation and do not get hot as quickly.

Professional workshops and industry almost exclusively use machines with 400 volts.

What is a cup wheel used for?

Cup wheels are special grinding wheels for grinding or regrinding tools such as milling cutters and turning tools made of HSS high-speed steel.

We recommend that you buy a bench grinder with a powerful drive motor and grinding wheels that are not too small. Good bench grinders from well-known manufacturers do not necessarily cost more than machines from unknown manufacturers. However, they usually last a lifetime.

Picture source: 123rf / 107864015

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